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Eyes the sort of sobering,

sky blue that stretches over
plains of Midwestern
Above the sparse, worn-weary
homesteads embraced by
acres of corn and welcoming
earth tread by decades of
youthfully bare feet
those skies
Laced and spotted with clouds
as if woven by amateur
knitting, graceful patterns
interrupted by knots
and gapsnot corrected,
but left lovingly flawed;
The sort of honest, endless,
beautiful blueaged without
being old, aware without being
cynical, wholly natural
but without an immunity
to magic
Eyes that sing of hard work,
I burn my lips on coffee
to get to the whipped cream
before it melts.
I lost half a finger to lukewarm
water, Dollar Store soap,
and an ill-timed lullaby sung
over a sharp knife.
I sprained an ankle sliding
down a slick steel roof
drunk, invincible, desperately young.
No amount of posted warnings
can stop me from hitting my head
on low-hanging beams,
No recommended serving sizes
can stop me enjoying
entire jars, boxes, bottles,
No well-intentioned offers for
walks home after dark
can stop me from loving
the lucid loneliness of standing
solitary under the stars;
Give a canary a college degree in perils and precautions,
But change the smell of explosive sulfur with whiskey and cologne;
flickering shaft lights with sunset glinting off a smile;
the threatening quake of unstable earth with the gentle drum
of fingertips against starved skin
It will love the mine for its
certain, annihilating collapse
Not in spite of pain
But delight in it.